Five Fast Facts: Mark Morris Dance Group

Jan 07, 2020

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Mark Morris Dance Group Mark Morris Dance Group
Photo by Gareth Jones

Mark Morris Dance Group returns to Northrop Sat, Jan 25 with Pepperland, a tribute to the Beatles and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Here are Five Fast Facts to know about the company and the performance in advance.

  1. Pepperland was commissioned by the city of Liverpool in 2017 for the city's celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, opening the festival ahead of 13 interdisciplinary works which represented the 13 tracks on the iconic album. All four Beatles members hailed from Liverpool.
  2. Beatles classics “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “A Day in the Life,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Within You Without You,” and “Penny Lane” are all featured in the score for Pepperland, interspersed among six original pieces written by composer Ethan Iverson especially forPepperland.
  3. A live ensemble of trombone, theremin, vocals, sax, keyboards, and percussion perform during Pepperland. Iverson himself performs on the piano].
  4. Morris was openly apprehensive to choreograph the piece, noting that an “American company with strange new musical arrangements, and minimal nostalgia, racing to finish the piece by opening night,” might not be well-received by natives of Liverpool, to whom Sgt. Pepper holds deep cultural significance. He was relieved to receive rave reviews by English critics, saying it was “a great surprise."
  5. The Mark Morris Dance Group is committed to performing their pieces exclusively to live music, and has toured with its own musicians, the MMDG Music Ensemble, since 1996.

Watch a preview of Pepperland.

Mark Morris Dance Group "Pepperland" | Jan 25, 2020 | Northrop 2019-20 Dance Season

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